Time to enter REYTA tourism 'Oscars' for 2018
THE awards were launched at the annual Hull and East Yorkshire Tourism Conference, attended by more than 200 representatives of tourism businesses from across the area as well as Andrew Stokes, Director of Visit England, and Julia Bradbury, the TV presenter best known for programmes like “Countryfile” and “Britain’s Best Walks”.
Regarded as the tourism “Oscars”, the REYTAs honour the very best, from major visitor attractions and events to hotels and accommodation providers, restaurants, pubs, cafes, food retailers and producers.
Current winners include Butt Farm Caravan & Campsite in Beverley, who picked up the Remarkable Newcomer Award literally a year after launching the business, the Lion & Key in Hull, named Remarkable pub, and Burton Constable Hall, which was given the title of Remarkable Visitor Attraction of the Year.
Now in their ninth year, the 2018 REYTAs will be even more closely aligned to national tourism awards, meaning winners will be eligible for shortlisting through to the Visit England Awards for Excellence. Last year, Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges and Snug Huts, based at Bishop Wilton, near Pocklington, won a silver medal in the self-catering holiday provider of the year category of the Visit England awards after winning a REYTA the year before.
The REYTAs are open to all tourism businesses in Hull and East Yorkshire, large and small, and is free to enter by visiting www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com/reyta
Shortlisting in each category will take place shortly after the closing date via independent panels and mystery shopping.
The closing date is January 19, 2018, ahead of the finals night on March 15, 2018.
VHEY tourism manager Andy Gray said the REYTAs were a showcase for all the wonderful things Hull and East Yorkshire has to offer. “Hull and East Yorkshire is proving itself to be one of the top choices for visitors from outside our region as well as offering fantastic choices for local people to enjoy all year round,” he said,
“It’s a remarkable event to celebrate a remarkable industry which contributes over £797 million annually to the Hull and East Yorkshire economy and provides employment for over 17,000 people.”
One of those who triumphed in 2017 was the Westwood Restaurant in Beverley, winners of the Remarkable Restaurant of the Year, and co-owner Michele Barker described the impact as “fantastic”.
Michele, who runs the restaurant with her twin brother Matthew, urged fellow restaurateurs and businesses to enter the awards. “They give great exposure and can work wonders in terms of the publicity that comes your way for winning and the marketing opportunities that present themselves,” she said.
“Winning a REYTA in our tenth anniversary year was the cherry on the cake. Our business has gone from strength to strength and being the ‘Remarkable Restaurant 2017’ this year has been a lot of that strength!”
For Oly (Correct) and Jen White winning the Remarkable Newcomer REYTA in March of this year was cause for huge celebrations, coming as it did at the culmination of a fantastic first year in business.
They had taken on the tenancy of the 180 acre Butt Farm in Beverley in 2014 but diversified to launch a campsite and caravan park alongside their farming activities in March 2016. “Winning a REYTA increased our profile overnight. It’s all about making people aware of what you have to offer and the exposure we got after the awards was fantastic. We were on Look North for instance and the next day took more bookings in one day than we had ever done before,” Oly said.
The success and increase in business has allowed Oly and Jen to develop their activities further. “We’ve had a great summer and it’s allowed us to do more,” said Oly. A major development has been the introduction of a luxury glamping lodge, made in part using straw grown on the farm.
“Sixty-six straw bales harvested at Butt Farm were used to make the walls and sheep’s wool insulation has been used in the roof,” Oly explained. The luxury lodge has been in huge demand since being unveiled and includes everything required for an overnight stay or longer. There’s a fully fitted kitchen and bathroom with shower and a decking area outside for al fresco dining.
Councillor Terry Geraghty, portfolio holder for leisure and tourism at Hull City Council, said: “The REYTA awards continue to be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the vibrant and booming tourism offer in the region.
“We have had a fantastic year as UK City of Culture with tourism figures reaching new records as the popularity of the region continues to grow. These are exciting times for Hull and we hope to see the value of tourism continue to rise as we realise our ambition to become a world-class visitor destination.”
Councillor Richard Burton, cabinet portfolio holder for leisure, tourism and culture at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "The Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards recognise and celebrate the contribution tourism makes to the local economy and are keenly contested each year.
"Nominations are now open across 14 categories for the 2018 awards and the council would encourage businesses working in this important industry to come forward and apply."
The full list of categories for the 2018 REYTAs are as follows:
1. REMARKABLE Hotel: Open to hotels of any size that offer a minimum of reception, bar, dinner and breakfast to provide the best overnight stay and the highest standards of accommodation in Hull and East Yorkshire.
2. REMARKABLE Bed & Breakfast/Boutique Guest Accommodation: Open to all types of guest accommodation including, B&Bs, guesthouses, boutique accommodation, farmhouses, inns, and restaurants with rooms.
3. REMARKABLE Self Catering Provider/Property: Open to all self-catering accommodation including serviced apartments, houses, cottages, flats, lodges, tepees, yurts and shepherds huts.
4. REMARKABLE Taste of East Yorkshire: This category is open to producers, processors or growers of local food and drink products, vineyards, breweries, farms, farm shops and co-operatives. Entries must demonstrate creativity in their use or production of local produce, consistent quality in the delivery and presentation of food and how the produce is made available to customers, perhaps with a visitor experience and creative marketing.
5. REMARKABLE Cuppa: Open to any tourism business such as tearooms, café, hotel or visitor attraction, that serves the best cup of tea or coffee and refreshments in Hull and East Yorkshire.
6. REMARKABLE Restaurant: The restaurant, hotel or pub that serves the best food in Hull and East Yorkshire.
7. REMARKABLE Pub: For the best pub in Hull and East Yorkshire serving the highest quality of bar food and beverages in the finest surroundings in the region.
8. REMARKABLE Business Tourism Award: This award acknowledges the huge importance of business visitors to the meetings, conferences and exhibitions sector in Hull and East Yorkshire. Open to any organisation in the business tourism sector including exhibition centres, convention hotels, country house properties, conference, banqueting and training venues.
9. REMARKABLE Holiday Park/Holiday Village: This award recognises Caravan and Holiday Parks, Touring Parks, and Camping and Touring Parks that have boosted business by making the most of their distinctive appeal.
10. REMARKABLE Newcomer: This award is for a newcomer to the Hull and East Yorkshire tourism industry. Individuals and tourism businesses may apply including attractions/experiences, food and drink providers and accommodation establishments that have set up between 1st January 2016 and 30th June 2017.
11. REMARKABLE Visitor Attraction/Experience: What is the best tourism attraction or experience in Hull & East Yorkshire that puts a smile on visitors’ faces and creates special memories? This award will be given to the tourism attraction/provider that delivers an outstanding and unique experience.
12. REMARKABLE Small Tourism Event (Under 30,000 visitors per year): What is the best event, experience or festival in Hull and East Yorkshire that takes place over a day, weekend, week, month or season? The event can be free or paid for; a one-off happening or a rolling series of annual events.
13. REMARKABLE Large Tourism Event (over 30,000 visitors per year): What is the best event, experience or festival in Hull and East Yorkshire that takes place over a day, weekend, week, month or season? The event can be free or paid for; a one-off happening or a rolling series of annual events.
14. REMARKABLE East Yorkshire Passion: The person is selected by the Visit Hull and East Yorkshire Advisory Board Group who in their judgement has made a significant contribution to tourism in our region. Nominations are invited from the local tourism industry.